Are We Ready for ICD-10?

From a recent survey, it seems physicians are not ready for October 1st! In a recent Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) Survey, 25% of physicians will not be ready for the implementation and another 25% of physicians indicate they will be ready, but just not sure when. Those numbers are disturbing, as 50% of physicians will not be ready in some form or fashion.

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Here is the definition of ICD-10: The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) is a revision of the ICD-9-CM system which physicians and other providers currently use to code all diagnoses, symptoms, and procedures recorded in hospitals and physician practices. The ICD-10-CM revision has more than 68,000 diagnostic codes, compared to the 13,000 found in ICD-9-CM. The revision also includes twice as many categories, and is more specific in identifying treatment. For example, ICD-10 provides codes to distinguish between a left or right leg; ICD-9 does not. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had intended to require implementation by October 1, 2014. However, on April 1, 2014, Pres. Obama signed into law H.R. 3402 which prevents H.H.S. from establishing ICD-10 as the standard code set before October 1, 2015.

The main issue with these physicians is that they feel the government hasn’t done a good job explaining the need of this implementation, nor have they been able to understand the ROI for their businesses. Thus, they do not feel that implementation is proper or works in their behalf. This creates a serious crisis in the healthcare as the deadline draws closer. Experience has shown however, that the government has shown some flexibility in the past on implementation. Failure to meet the expectations of ICD-10 for physicians will be a significant cash flow interruption. This could have a ripple effect in service being provided.

As we can see from this survey, neither party seems to be prepared to either implement or enforce the ICD-10 guidelines. The one thing we are confident of is that the October 1st deadline is firm for roll out, and organizations need to be focused on implementation. When implemented properly, the ICD-10 will streamline both patients and the business side of healthcare for all parties. Treatment will be more streamlined and organized, while payments can be quickly settled with providers.

Data Ladder can assist healthcare organizations with this transition to ICD-10. Contact one of our data cleansing specialists for assistance.